The newly born baby gets out of the hospital’s delivery ward and enters its new home surrounded by happiness and welcoming faces and hearts of close caring people. This is the case especially with the baby’s mother, father, and siblings, if there are any. It is clearly known how sensitive the postpartum stage actually is, and this sensitivity covers all the aspects that involve the baby, being it physical or mental. It should be known how to be careful while dealing with the baby.
With the continuous spread of awareness and etiquettes of how to properly treat and approach the baby, especially when it is newly born, there is still oblivion, ignorance, negligence and carelessness from adults, being parents or other people around the baby. Some of them express their happiness to see the baby by doing things that please them, but hurt the baby in one way or another. Others may approach the baby for other purposes, for example taking care of it, or in fact thinking they are taking care, while they are actually bringing troubles to the baby. People can cause illness or injury to the baby without meaning to and with the purest of intentions. However, unintended consequences often come about. Here are 15 prominent ones that have been chosen for further elaboration.
15 Not Washing Hands
Unfortunately, the underestimation of personal hygiene is irritatingly epidemic among many people, although the processes of maintaining it are not that complicated, most people just don’t have the habit of washing their hands frequently - even after using the toilet. The necessity to maintain this hygiene in the presence of the baby increases multiple folds. One of these simplest processes of hygiene maintenance is washing hands with running water and soap. Yes, very simple. And when to perform this process? After using the toilet, before and after any situation that requires clean hands, such as cooking, after shopping, or very simply, when the individual has dirty hands !
A third answer to that question is when the individual wants to hold or touch a baby. The baby’s skin and immune system at this stage is known to be intolerant to a dirty, germy environment, any mild virus which may be inconspicuous to adults, can be critical for the baby.
14 An Ill Person Approaching The Baby
The immune system of the baby is in the process of developing its functions and cells responsible for its activity, which obviously means that the baby is still not ready to confront a large concentration of bacteria and viruses. In such a stage, protection and prevention seems to be the one and best solution, especially when the time of vaccination has not yet come. If someone is ill with a virus or other infection, ask them to please wait to visit in order to avoid infecting the baby.
Adults are always enlightened about avoiding a diseased person, being under the mercy of severe infections, or those known to be mild and remissive within days of having an illness, such as flu. Therefore, the urgency becomes doubled and tripled when the baby is involved, with emphasis of its in-progress immune system. Having the baby contracting any sort of infection makes the manifestations more serious, and the treatment process more complicated.
13 Kissing And Pinching The Baby
No one can resist doing these things to the baby as expressive ways of affection and emotions towards it. Just sighting the baby, for the first of hundredth time, can evoke the same exact reaction. Although the adorable cheeks located on the baby’s face are extremely appealing and attractive, inviting to be touched, kissed and pinched. However, it is sad to announce that such deeds are to be rejected during this time, although while the baby is tiny it seems the absolute best time.
Mentioning again the sensitivity of the baby’s skin is markedly higher and more vulnerable to the simplest agents. Kissing a baby is tempting, but it is best not done for fear of passing along germs that many adults aren’t even aware they carry. The oral cavity of an adult is occupied by a cocktail of microorganisms that range from being an essential part of the adult’s body, to being infectious and not included within the healthy group. The physical pressure applied by the fingers while pinching are likely to leave a bruise and the baby probably won’t like being pinched either.
12 Using Fingers In Nose Or Mouth
The entire body of the baby is actually sensitive, and not only the skin as previously pointed out, it is thus subject strongly to unfavorable conditions, being the simplest or the severest. Of the sensitive places of the baby is the mouth. It is important to remind of the status of the immune system, and to add to this fact, that the neonatal oral cavity is different than that of an adult, especially before the appearance of teeth, which refers to the few number of microorganisms present. The insertion of the finger, especially if contaminated, raises the probability of transmission of any sort of suspected infections to the baby’s mouth.
Another sensitive place is the baby’s nose. It is true that nasal secretions accumulate frequently inside the tiny nostrils with a tendency to block them, therefore they have to be eliminated, yet properly. Not by using the fingers because of the likeliness to hurt the nose. There are drops and devices made for this purpose, and the finger is surely excluded.
11 Delaying Changing A Diaper
The baby is expected to urinate and defecate a multiplicity of times during the course of the day, but of course with a moderate rate, since the increase or decrease can be an indication of something wrong. It is a must to keep monitoring and checking on the baby every once and awhile (preferred hourly), to determine if the diaper is still clean. The baby usually announces a dirty diaper by crying, but some babies remain silent. In addition, current disposable diapers absorb wetness so well that the baby may not notice. So the mother should not rely on waiting for her baby to cry to go check on it.
Even if only urine exists in the diaper, it should be removed and replaced with a new one. Having feces in the diaper calls for an immediate change. The mother must never delay changing the diaper, as excretions contain compounds toxic to the skin and may cause rash, infection and great discomfort to the baby.
10 Taking It Easy Cleaning The Feeding Bottles
It happens frequently when the baby relies on its mother’s breasts and the bottle to get fed, and some babies, are fed by bottles starting from the time they are born. It is important to focus on the etiquette of bottle-feeding the baby, keeping in mind all the time that the baby is not an adult, and what can be simple and harmless for the adult, is not the same for the baby.
The process of bottle-feeding the baby requires serious monitoring. The bottles that are used must be cleaned with a dish soap, rinsed thoroughly, and boiled. Pacifiers also need to be periodically replaced with a new sterilised one, and all the nooks and crannies of the bottle must be ensured to be empty of any remains or unpleasant odor. Repeating again, the oral cavity of the baby is still not prepared enough to confront infections. Milk left in bottles, caps, or nipples can cause severe intestinal problems for the baby so although it is tedious, thorough bottle washing is vital.
9 Throwing The Baby Up In The Air
Seeing the baby gives the stimulus to not only kissing or pinching, but also to holding and playing with it non-stop. So many people are taken by the emotional joy of the moment, that they may harm the child in their enthusiasm. If the harm is very mild, it goes unnoticed until they see the baby crying out of pain!
Not only is the immune system vulnerable during this period, but also the locomotor apparatus and the nervous system, mainly the brain engulfed in the skull. One should hold themselves from over excitement and not throw the baby up in the air when holding them. Such exuberance is not really fun for the new born baby, and is very scary and traumatizing; the 0.1 percent probability of dropping the baby does exist, whose consequences can be seriously tragic. Older babies may laugh and enjoy being thrown in the air, however, even for older babies, it is not recommended. Not only because of the risk of dropping the child but also because of the chance of whiplash.
8 Dressing The Baby With Inappropriate Clothes
If the mum is feeling sad for realizing she cannot put the baby in the new sweet costume or dress she bought for it, she should be advised to calm down and think of the bright side of such restriction. After all, this is for the wellness of the baby, and there is not a single mum, who would be happy watching her baby suffering due to inappropriate costumes and clothes, all because she wanted to make her baby look cute or funny in that costume.
During the early postpartum period, everything but clothing made of cotton should be avoided, since other fabrics are not properly compatible with the sensitive skin of the baby. Inflammatory reactions and rashes could easily occur. The mum has to ensure getting the underwear and the outfits made of cotton as a precaution against any dermal troubles. The adorable outfit that your favorite aunt bought for the baby will just have to go down as a note in the scrapbook, because she thought the baby would be born in warm weather, but the baby had other ideas.
7 Improper Baby Bathing
The baby has to be periodically bathed for the maintenance of its hygiene, which reflects positively on the status of its body. Delaying the baby bathing is also not allowed, and as serious as diaper changing is. As previously mentioned and repeated, the sensitivity of the baby’s skin requires continuous care and monitoring, keeping an eye on the baby to detect anything that should not be present on its skin.
The bathing process is carried out not under the shower! But in a special tub made for babies, not the ceramic bathtub of the house bathroom, and not the ceramic washing basin, either! The baby should be held carefully, with firm hands placed behind the head and the buttocks, in a way that the entire body would be held with balance. Water and shampoo should be prevented from getting into the baby’s eyes, nose or ears, which can irritate the baby. Many styles of safe baby bathing gear are available for purchase.
6 Undressing The Baby In Inappropriate Times
The fact that the baby is silent and speechless (kind of), does not necessarily mean they like being trapped in all kinds of clothes. Yes, some babies demonstrate actions as when they are hungry or when they soil the diaper, but some still appear calm, while wishing from the depth of their hearts to get rid of the clothes that are straining them and refraining their arms and legs from moving freely. They get these feelings all the year round, even when they are warm in layers of clothes and the cute jacket that makes them look like a living balloon, and in summer, this can be even more so with too many clothes on.
There is no problem in undressing the baby to give it a chance for moving their extremities freely, it is enough they are still unable to even roll over, having to stay all the time on their back! But being careful is necessary; it is incorrect to undress the baby and keep it subjected to a strong current of air, even those light cool breezes, and of course, the air conditioning machines.
5 Laying The Baby On The Back While/After Feeding
As previously mentioned, the baby, especially before turning 6 months old, is unable to do much of anything but move their arms and legs up and down. Even this activity is done with effort and consumption of at least some calories! However, there are some times in which the baby should not be kept in this position, regardless of the fact that there is no other position that it can take during its very early life.
While breastfeeding, or bottle-feeding, the mum has to commit to certain positions in order to carry out a successful procedure of nurturing the baby, and she has to avoid a number of other positions. It is incorrect to feed the baby while it is laying on its back, and it is also incorrect to immediately lay the baby on its back after feeding. The baby should be placed in a baby seat, held, or propped up into a seated position for at least 30 minutes to give the baby a chance to digest and avoid the possibility of choking from spitting up or vomiting.
4 Skipping Appointments For Any Reason
Some mothers are used to skipping or delaying appointments for any number of reasons, but those mothers need to be aware that the same is not allowed for their baby. No matter what the reason or obstacles are, or how the weather outside is, anything related to the baby’s wellness shall never be taken carelessly.
Whether the appointment is urgent, or arranged weeks beforehand, it is important to take the baby. In either case, the delay is not for the advantage of the baby at all. Some indications that something is not right, such as the redness or paleness of the baby’s face, or having it crying nonstop, requires immediate intervention to decipher the problem and treat it. No matter what the abnormality is: high temperature, vomiting, excretions that do not look right, and the rest of the list. When it comes to a baby under 1 year, a mom can never be sure if something is minor like a cold, or major, like pneumonia.
3 Improper Lifting Of The Baby
In previous sections, the warning of not carelessly holding the baby has been stated, including throwing it up in the air for the so-called purpose of having fun. Careless holding and carrying the baby can lead to unintended accidents and harm to the baby. In this regard, lifting the baby should be done with care and acknowledgement of the baby’s age. A newborn, or baby that is not yet strong enough to hold their own head up needs to have their head supported whenever the baby is moved. The baby’s head should always be supported to avoid damage to the neck and spine.
When lifting an older baby it is best to pick it up by placing the palms under the baby’s armpits, bring the baby into a football style or other hold and then supporting the baby’s behind. A baby should never be lifted by one arm or by one leg as this can cause muscle damage and even extremely painful joint dislocation.
2 Improper Testing Of The Feeding Bottle
Repeating and re-emphasizing the necessity of taking accurate care of preparing bottle-feeding, which does not only involve the cleaning and filling with milk, but also the testing of the milk. When bottle feeding, it really isn’t necessary to warm the breast milk or formula, it just shouldn’t be ice cold. Most babies appear to like their milk at ‘mom’ temperature or just at room temperature. If you warm the milk, make sure to test the temperature of the milk before introducing it to the baby. A rule of thumb is that a splash of milk on the inside of the wrist should feel neither hot nor cold to the caregiver.
The essentials of hygiene and human logic demonstrate the correct and incorrect ways of testing the bottle with its contents: the bottle is shaken a little until some drops fall onto the wrist, thereby the temperature of the milk can be estimated. The parent should be smart enough to not open the bottle and dip their finger. A couple of drops on the wrist should be enough to be sure the milk is a good temperature for the little one.
1 Miscellaneous Careless Mistakes
It has been mentioned in the introduction that carelessness of adults towards their babies often have unforeseen and unfortunate consequences. Nevertheless, some of additional mistakes need to be mentioned as a conclusion to this article. Although many things seem to be simple common sense, it is unfortunately true, that many people just don’t have any or their life experiences haven’t allowed them to learn most of the things they should know about taking care of an infant.
Here are a few more things that parents and caregivers should not do: Letting the baby put “anything” in their mouth; massaging the baby as if it is an adult; giving solids to the baby when it’s too early; leaving the baby with pets without watching them (yes, still dangerous no matter how tame the pet is); placing the baby in the front seat of the car, or the rear one without its portable chair; having the baby close to hot things and drinks; removing the dirty diaper and wiping the area with dry napkins only, this area needs very special care to prevent inflammation and fungal infections; and last but not least, the baby is too young for even a sip of alcohol, do not risk it.